Sunday, May 21, 2017

Super Secret Series, Special Lamps and Space Opera

The word of the week is gruntled.

Note: The alternative title for this week's blog was Reading, Racing and Right At All Costs

May 15 – Space Opera Week!

Wow, talk about great timing!

Tor.com has declared this week is Space Opera Week, and will be posting articles each day of this week related to my favorite sci-fi genre - w00t!

The reason I say it's perfect timing is that my own sci-fi trilogy is a space opera, which if you don't know is defined incredibly well as follows:

If you want to know what I love to write, here you go!

Long story short, I love the possibilities that space Opera offers a writer!

One of the best space opera short stories I've read in years is Damage by David D. Levine, which is made available this week Tor.com. I loved everything about it and highly recommend that you read posthaste!


May 16 – Nope and Nope

Well, that stinks... today I received notice that my latest government job application was unsuccessful:

Translation: we gave it to someone else

There are three things I that really sucked about this turndown:

1) It was for a senior-level '18' position, which pays about 25% more per year than my current position, which would've been fantastic for my paychecks and getting out sooner from under the burdens I've been carrying for years.
2) It was for a communications position requiring an English degree: perfect for me!
3) I didn't even make the eligibility list, which means that if for any reason be winning applicant wasn't able to fill the position( ie. they've already accepted another, better position )then I could be considered again without having to reapply.

So in other words: no, we don't want you, and we also don't feel that you qualify even as a backup... which hurts. I was quite upset today for hours at work my office this morning, before I shrugged my shoulders and just got on with things again. I also took a few minutes to visit 7 of the best Mood-Boosting Sites you can look at... I liked more than half, which are solid.

Now, that being said, I was recently encouraged recently to apply all over the place for all sorts of positions, even ones that I don't feel that I would qualify for, which was odd advice but I'm taking it to heart. Having applied for over a dozen positions this year with zero success, I'm also soliciting feedback from the people running each of the job listings, to get a better handle on why I haven't been able to forward with any of them.

I just have to keep trying, and learn to get better more quickly at the process.


May 17 – City Crowding

Victoria's become the place to be in BC, apparently:

So that's why there's never any parking spots open downtown...

According the article that the above snippet was taken from, Victoria's literally bursting at the seams with over 5000 new residents moving into the city in the last year alone. It's no wonder that the rents have skyrocketed and the vacancy rate dropped to almost nothing, not to mention the dozens of major building projects underway.

On the other hand, it's a great time to be living here, in terms of a vibrant and active city, meaning more jobs for everyone and a healthy economy.

I just wish it didn't cost so bloody much to enjoy all that by living hereabouts; at this rate, our prices will all too soon be in the area of Vancouver and Toronto, which means nobody wins...


May 18 – NEW DARK CRYSTAL SERIES!

Some much better news came in today:


What's really unbelievable is that nobody, anywhere, knew anything about this until the news broke today, which is an incredible feat of secrecy in this day and age. It's so damn exciting to see a partnership between Netflix and The Jim Henson Company, given the high quality of series content that Netflix has been producing in the last year or two, like A Series Of Unfortunate Events and Sense8.

I'm also really stoked that my friend JM Lee is going to be a staff writer and consultant on the series, since he's writing the current Shadows Of The Dark Crystal series for The Jim Henson Company. I'm confident that with his involvement, the show will stay true to its roots of the original film and give us something that the fans can truly savor.

The only problem is, we'll probably have to wait until late 2018 or 2019 to see it!


May 19 – Right At All Costs?

I had a hard conversation tonight, and it made me angry.

Immediately afterwards, I sat down and wrote a long post that encapsulated what I was feeling... and didn't hold back any punches. It's as true reaction as I've had in years to anything that I've been told, and what's really eye-opening is that it only encompasses a small part of my thought processes on the subjects of identity, choice, purposeful blindness, ignorance and self-determination, to name a few things

Now, a few days later, I've mellowed somewhat and copied-out that post here, if you want to read it. It's a rare thing for me to get that angry that quickly, and I recognize that's oftentimes a sign that people are resisting hearing the truth, especially if they're being told repeatedly not think about it...

The truth is out there...

Anyway, I am feeling better now about what was said in conversation after speaking to a few people about it. I don't feel that my entire world is based on false premises that I've lived for the last 20 years, I certainly don't feel the need to upset my applecart right this instant to 'move forward' with the things that are holding me back as was told to me. Now is a critical juncture in my life: finishing my book must take priority over all else, even job improvement, as I'm so close to finishing the final draft of my first book.

Nothing else can take priority over that, for the next month, at least.


May 20 – Race Time!

All right, yesterday was a bit of a bummer, so how about a race?

With Hot Wheels cars, no less?

Better yet, how about a race between KITT of Knight Rider, The Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, the A-Team van, The Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters and the Delorean from Back to the Future? And to top it off, it has a kickin' 80's-esque soundtrack, killer camera work, creative story pacing and a finish you can't predict!

Why aren't you watching it already???




May 21 – Read To Relax

As I've mentioned before, I'm regularly falling asleep around 10 PM at night and waking up reliably around 6 AM. What that means however, is that I have to avoid any sort of bright lights after about 8 PM as they disrupt my ability to get to sleep, so until recently reading before bed isn't really an option for me unless I'm using the Kindle app on my phone or tablet.

However, I managed to pick up an adjustable-spectrum LED light from Amazon a few months ago on super sale that's changed all that. Because it has a dimmable Colour Temperature (2700K ~ 6500K )it can meet different needs( like working, reading, studying, or relaxing )and the LED light panel emits a soft, even glow that doesn't flicker( and is utterly silent )so it's much easier on the eyes over the long-term.

Probably the best lamp I've ever owned, period!

The adjustable brightness means that I can dial down the light output to exactly the right level for use before bed without eyestrain, and the adjustable color temperature turns it into the warm glow of an incandescent bulb, rather than the harsh biorhythm-disrupting daylight color of a normal fluorescent - so great! I can also adjust things in the morning so that if I want to read or work, the light spectrum is that of daylight, which will really come in handy during the winter months next year. As a final bonus, the 8-watt lamp uses hardly energy at all, so I can leave it on for as long as I need to read or work. It's even light enough to pack with me, and it folds up flat. 

This lamp is so great, and I strongly recommend it!

Sure beats the old metal gooseneck lamp with a 60-watt bulb that I had in high school that I'd always burn my hand on trying to move around when I was tired. I still have it, and even though I've replaced the bulb with a 2700K CFL, I was still finding myself aiming it away or fiddling with the distance to get it correct... but now that I have the Holan LED lamp, it's like night and day.

I'll leave you with that one.


The weather here's taking a turn for the better: it's been sunny for most of the weekend, and the temperatures are creeping up into the high teens finally. I'm hopeful that soon I'll be able to get out more without a heavy jacket( no body fat = cool weather sensitive! )and thus become more active with some outdoor bike-riding and longer walks, though my right Pectineus tendon's been complaining a bit about my 10K steps a day activities - I'm easing back on that, and what I carry to work each day, to ensure I'm still making progress.